Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: Computer graphics used to depict new display on A-bombing

Posting on website to be considered

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

On May 22 the City of Hiroshima released a video showing its plans for the display in the main building of the Peace Memorial Museum depicting the devastation resulting from the atomic bombing. The museum’s exhibits are to be revamped in conjunction with the complete renovation of the museum. The city said it will consider posting the video on the museum’s website.

The video, which employs computer graphics, lasts about 1 minute. The route that visitors will follow through the museum will be changed, and the video shows the display they will initially encounter in the main building, which comprises the first half of the route. In the video the display, which will depict the “reality of the A-bombing,” is shown as it will be seen by visitors. Against a background of photographs of the devastation is a collective display featuring items of clothing worn by people who died in the A-bombing and photographs of burn victims. The aim of the display is to illustrate the inhumanity of the atomic bomb, which devastated the city and took the lives of many of its citizens.

Under the city’s plan, following the museum’s renovation, the permanent exhibitions in the main building will focus on artifacts of the bombing, including personal belongings of victims and photographs. A list of about 340 items to be displayed has already been compiled. According to a study conducted by the city, visitors spend an average of 45 minutes at the museum. Of that, only 19 minutes is spent on the second half of the route, which covers the “reality of the A-bombing.” The city projects that this will lengthen to about 30 minutes following the renovations.

Because some citizens have strongly objected to the plan to remove the mannequins depicting victims of the A-bombing that are now on display, the city once again offered an overview of the new displays, saying they will “more powerfully convey the inhumanity of the atomic bomb and its destructive force.” The city also indicated that it would look into posting items to be displayed in the new exhibitions on its website along with the video.

Renovation work on the Peace Memorial Museum began in March. On September 1 the permanent exhibition in the museum’s east wing will be closed and work will get underway there. The main building will be closed for renovation in the spring of 2016 after completion of the work on the east wing. The completely renovated museum is scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2018.

(Originally published on May 23, 2014)